· For his 84th birthday ·
Congratulations and greetings to Pope Benedict XVI poured in from every part of the World. The Holy Father celebrated his 84th birthday on Saturday, 16 April.
Among the many greetings was that of Queen Elizabeth ii of England, who wrote to the Pontiff: “On the occasion of your 84th birthday, I have much pleasure in sending my warmest felicitations and prayers to Your Holiness, recalling with great fondness the memorable visit of Your Holiness to the United Kingdom”.
One of the first birthday greetings to arrive came from the Italian Episcopal Conference which sent the Pope prayers and gratitude for his total and loving dedication. It was signed by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, President, and by Bishop Mariano Crociata, General Secretary. The Holy Father also received birthday greetings from the Presidents of other Bishops’ Conferences and from Heads of State and Government.
Several Italian political figures sent Benedict XVI their congratulations. Hon. Mr Renato Schifani, President of the Senate, addressed a telegram to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, “expressing to the Holy Father sentiments of deep gratitude for the authority of his Magisterium, the depth of his thinking and his ceaseless witness of hope”.
Hon. Mr Gianfranco Fini, President of the Chamber of Deputies, expressed his good wishes to the Pope from the entire Assembly and said that the Pope’s commitment to peace and social justice was an important “reference point”.
A special greeting arrived from Reinhard Richardi, who has known Joseph Ratzinger for more than 40 years, and he said to the Italian daily Avvenire : “with his writings Pope Ratzingzer has entered the soul of Germans”.
St. Peter’s Square
Sept. 20, 2019
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